Polish, Danish, Norwegian gas companies agree pipeline

Polish Gas and Oil Exploration (PGNiG) agreed to set up a consortium with Denmark's Dansk Olie og A/S (DONG) and Norway's Statoil aimed at building the BalticPipe natural gas pipeline to supply Poland with gas from the two Scandinavian countries, the PAP news agency reported. The pipeline, running between Denmark and northern Poland, will initially carry some 2 billion cubic meters of Danish gas over eight years, with additional supplies from Norway planned for a later date. According to the PAP, PGNiG President Andrzej Lipko has indicatd that the agreement with the Danish company is an initial step in building an additional pipeline to Poland from Norway. Danish gas is expected to start flowing to Poland in October 2003. PGNiG began negotiating the deal with Statoil in August last year after Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg agreed in July 2000 on a plan to suppl Poland with 5 billion cubic meters of Norwegian Gas per year. Poland uses just under 11 billion cubic meters of gas anually, with over half supplied by Russia. Consuption is expected to double by the year 2010.